Carleton: Would Joey Gallo be better off bunting in every at-bat against the shift?

From Russell Carleton at Baseball Prospectus on April 3, 2018:

Those crazy Astros were at it again during opening weekend. Facing off against the rival Rangers and their pull-happy port-sided power-hitter Joey Gallo, the Astros induced the most talked about pop-up to third base of the 2018 season. Or was it the most talked about fly ball to left field?

In the first inning, Gallo—who was batting second in the Rangers’ lineup—lifted a rather pedestrian fly ball to the left side that flew well into the grassy area beyond the infield. Waiting there—not sprinting for it, just calmly standing there waiting because he’d been there a while—to catch it was … Astros third baseman Alex Bregman.

Houston had deployed a four-man outfield for Gallo, with Bregman being the fourth wheel on the tricycle, and Gallo provided the early season favorite for the most perplexing “how do we score that?” decision of 2018.

It was a defensive alignment that produced one of the most astounding pictures of the day.

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Originally published: April 3, 2018. Last Updated: April 3, 2018.